Mark Reads ‘Wyrd Sisters’: Part 4

In the fourth section of Wyrd Sisters, this is complicated. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Witch Taxes and Waiting

So what is the duke going to wait for? I love the idea that the duke is realizing that the witches aren’t at all like what he thought they were. Namely:

“These witches,” said the duke. “Apparently, they seem to cast a spell on people.”

“Well, obviously –”

“Not like a magic spell. They seem to be respected. They do medicine and so on. It’s rather strange. The mountain people seem to be afraid of them and proud of them at the same time. It might be a little difficult to move against them.”

Is there a better way to describe the witches? Terrifying and respectable. I love that! But the duke is more intrigued by them than anything else, and I think he’s going to try to find a way to take advantage of them. He’s interested in power (“which was why he had married the duchess in the first place”), so perhaps that’s what he’s waiting for. He’s going to see if he can find a way to take the power of the witches. I imagine that will be easier said than done, though. I MEAN, LOOK AT WHO WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.

Two Months Later

How many more passages of time are we gonna have in this book? I AM THRILLED ABOUT THIS. Two months after giving up Tomjon to the troupe, the Ramtops coven of Magrat, Nanny Ogg, and Granny visit again, and it’s just a joy. I loved learning about Nanny’s tyrannical reign as mother and head witch of Lancre. I loved meeting Greebo. And I was ecstatic to get the chance to learn more about these three characters through their behavior and their idiosyncrasies. LOOK, Y’ALL, I CANNOT HELP BUT ADORE EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT MAGRAT GARLICK. She is so genuine, and it’s charming. She just tries so beautifully hard to be this bundle of joy and kindness, and even though she knows that Nanny Ogg and Granny find her irritating at times, she wants so desperately to be a good witch and to be liked and I just relate to her a lot. Plus, she is trying to use a tortoise as her familiar. HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY HATE HER?

The three witches – after much discussion of familiars and grimmers and candles – finally get around to discussing Duke Felmet, who differs from the past rulers not in what he does – King Verence used to burn down houses and such for taxes – but in what he doesn’t do, which is allow people to escape, or offer to rebuild said burnt houses. That he burned. And then rebuilt? Whatever, not the point! The point is that the witches are now aware of a lack of respect towards them on the duke’s part. It’s not just the taxes, of course, but a general air of discomfort caused by his executions and complete lack of kingly kindness. It’s just not right!!!

Tax Collection

Tax collectors in general have the worst jobs, but the tax gatherer we meet in this section of Wyrd Sisters has got one terrible job to do. It’s really obvious that the witches haven’t paid taxes in ages because NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO GET THEM TO DO IT. I love that the gatherer tried to explain why taxes were necessary, only to be met with a ironclad rebuttal from the witches. THIS WAS MY FAVORITE ONE:

“I mentioned how taxes help to maintain the King’s Peace, sir…”


“They said the king should maintain his own peace, sir.”

I can honestly see Granny Weatherwax saying this, my god.

So where does that leave Duke Felmet? He’s obviously aware that this is a lot more challenging than he expected, and given what he gleaned from King Verence, he anticipated that his edicts and orders would be obeyed properly the first time. But both a sergeant and a tax gatherer have come back empty-handed (HANDED), and I don’t see Duke Felmet himelf going out to see the witches. More waiting, maybe?

A Year Later

TIME PASSING. LOTS OF IT. AT ONCE. I thought it was fantastic that after moving the narrative forward a year, we cut straight to Tomjon and Hwel, who is Vitoller’s script writer. And a dwarf!!! The poor guy is the center of an unreal number of particles of raw inspiration, and where Rincewind was on the receiving end of just one of them in Sourcery, Hwel gets them ALL. THE. TIME. Is there going to be a play within a book here? I would love that. And how long is it going to be until Tomjon puts on his crown and realizes what it means? It’s a countdown, y’all. It’s only a matter of time.

The video contains use of the word “idiot.”

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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